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Patriots 2024 Staff Tracker: Jerod Mayo’s Coaching Staff Features 17 New Faces

The Jerod Mayo era is underway in New England, as the Patriots’ newest head coach has officially filled out his staff.

The team welcomes 17 new additions to a staff that looks to be much different than any under Bill Belichick. De facto general manager Eliot Wolf’s fingerprints are all over these new additions, with many of his former Browns and Packers colleagues making their way to New England.

The offensive and special teams staffs have seen massive overhauls after being among the worst units in the NFL last season.

Most offensive coaches have prior experience with new coordinator Alex Van Pelt, including senior offensive assistant Ben McAdoo, quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney, offensive line coach Scott Peters, and tight ends coach Bob Bicknell. Former running backs coach Vinnie Sunseri left to coach the defensive side of the ball at the University of Washington and will be replaced by Taylor Embree. Troy Brown’s role as wide receivers coach is expected to be filled by Tyler Hughes, who spent several seasons in New England as an assistant, though Brown is expected to stay in an undisclosed role. McCartney, Peters, and Hughes, none of whom have much experience leading their current position groups, each has assistant coaches helping with their transition. Evan Rothstein is expected to return as an assistant quarterbacks coach, Robert Kugler has been hired to assist the offensive line, and former Patriot Tiquan Underwood will help with receivers. Michael McCarthy will also be in the mix as a quality control coach.

Special teams will be helmed by first-time coordinator Jeremy Springer, who was a valued member of the Rams’ staff. He will be backed by assistant coach Tom Quinn, who comes equipped with 17 years of NFL coaching experience, and quality control coach Coby Tippett.

Safeties coach Steve Belichick, cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino, and director of player development Joe Kim all return to the defensive staff in the same roles they held last season. Defensive line coach-turned-coordinator DeMarcus Covington has been replaced by Jerry Montgomery, the defense’s first outside hire and a former colleague of Wolf and Van Pelt’s in Green Bay. Mayo has been replaced by former teammate and Patriots legend Dont’a Hightower, bringing a familiar face back into the fold. Steve Belichick, who left to become the University of Washington’s defensive coordinator, is the only departure. He has been replaced as outside linebackers coach by Drew Wilkins. Wilkins is the only other brand-new face among the position coaches, but he coached Matt Judon in two of the linebacker’s four Pro Bowl seasons. Jamael Lett and Vinny DePalma will serve as a quality control coach.

New England didn’t secure many household names this offseason, but they brought in several experienced coaches to complement a relatively young, up-and-coming staff. Time will tell how these groups ultimately gel, but there are several additions that should inspire confidence among fans.

Click here for a timeline of the Jerod Mayo era and updates on Bill Belichick.

PATRIOTS STAFF TRACKER 

Front Office

  • EVP of football business / senior advisor to the head coach: Robyn Glaser
  • Director of player personnel (unconfirmed): Eliot Wolf (officially listed as director of scouting)
  • Senior personnel executive: Alonzo Highsmith
  • Senior personnel adviser: Patrick Stewart
  • Director of scouting (unconfirmed): Matt Groh (officially listed as director of player personnel)
  • Director of pro scouting: Steve Cargile
  • Director of college scouting: Camren Williams
  • Director of scouting administration: Nancy Meier

Coaching Staff

  • Head coach: Jerod Mayo

Offense

  • Offensive coordinator: Alex Van Pelt
  • Quarterbacks: T.C. McCartney
  • Offensive line: Scott Peters
  • Running backs: Taylor Embree
  • Wide receivers: Tyler Hughes
  • Tight ends: Bob Bicknell
  • Senior offensive assistant: Ben McAdoo
  • Assistant quarterbacks coach: Evan Rothstein
  • Assistant offensive line: Robert Kugler
  • Assistant wide receivers: Tiquan Underwood
  • Offensive coaching assistant/quality control: Michael McCarthy

Defense

  • Defensive coordinator: DeMarcus Covington
  • Defensive line: Jerry Montgomery
  • Inside linebackers: Dont’a Hightower
  • Outside linebackers: Drew Wilkins
  • Cornerbacks: Mike Pellegrino
  • Safeties: Brian Belichick
  • Director of skill development: Joe Kim
  • Defensive coaching assistant/quality control: Jamael Lett
  • Defensive coaching assistant/quality control: Vinny DePalma

Special Teams

  • Special teams coordinator: Jeremy Springer
  • Special teams assistant coach: Tom Quinn
  • Special teams coaching assistant/quality control: Coby Tippett
  • Troy Brown (unknown)

Strength and Conditioning

  • Head strength and conditioning coach: Deron Mayo
  • Assistant strength and conditioning coach: Brian McDonough

Hiring: Bob Bicknell – Patriots tight ends coach (Former Saints senior offensive assistant)

Reported: 4:04 PM

The Patriots announced all 17 of their new coaching staff additions Monday afternoon, including tight ends coach Bob Bicknell, who spent the past two seasons as a senior offensive assistant for the Saints under Dennis Allen. He has deep roots in New England, growing up in Holliston, Massachusetts, playing tight end at Boston College from 1989-1990, and starting his coaching career as a safeties coach at Boston University in 1993.

Bicknell’s resume is fascinating, having coached several positions at multiple levels. This includes NFL Europe, where he won a World Bowl with the Frankfurt Galaxy in 1999 and two with the Berlin Thunder from 2000-2001, all as an offensive line coach with offensive coordinator added to his title in 2003. After holding the same positions with the Cologne Centurions from 2004-2005, he returned to the States as an offensive line coach at Temple in 2006.

Bicknell made his NFL coaching debut in 2007, serving as an assistant offensive line coach for the Chiefs. He was promoted in 2008, switched to tight ends in 2009, then coached the position for the Bills from 2010-2011. In 2012, Bicknell began coaching wide receivers, which he would stick with for the remainder of the decade. He moved on to the Eagles from 2013-2015, followed head coach Chip Kelly to the 49ers in 2016, then worked at Baylor under Matt Rhule in 2017 and helped Denzel Mims become one of the nation’s best receivers. He returned to the NFL with the Bengals from 2018-2020, overlapping with then-quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt for two seasons.

Bicknell’s uniquely diverse background and familiarity with Van Pelt make him one of the most interesting new additions to the coaching staff. It also makes sense for Van Pelt, whose scheme values tight ends as dual-threats who can do damage off of play action, to put someone like Bicknell in such an important role.

Hiring: Tyler Hughes – Patriots wide receivers coach (Former University of Washington quality control coach)

Reported: 4:04 PM

The Patriots announced all 17 of their new coaching staff additions Monday afternoon, including wide receivers coach Tyler Hughes, who returns after serving as an offensive assistant for New England from 2020-2022.

During his season away from the team, Hughes was a quality control coach at the University of Washington. Before his time with the Patriots, Hughes was a head coach at Bountiful High School in Utah from 2018-2019, Minot State in North Dakota from 2014-2016, and Snow College from 2011-2012, where he also played wide receiver and served as wide receivers/tight ends coach in 2004 and offensive coordinator from 2005-2010.

Hughes’ inexperience will understandably raise some eyebrows, but he has more experience on the Patriots’ staff than any other outside hires and will be assisted by assistant wide receivers coach Tiquan Underwood, who spent time in the building as a player. Both coaches also have experience playing the position, giving them unique perspectives that should help in their new roles.

Hiring: Tom Quinn – Patriots special teams assistant coach (Former Titans special teams coordinator)

Reported: 4:04 PM

The Patriots announced all 17 of their new coaching staff additions Monday afternoon, including special teams assistant Tom Quinn.

Quinn spent last season with the Titans, where he served as an assistant special teams coach before being promoted to coordinator following Craig Aukerman’s firing in December. Before landing in Tennessee, Quinn spent his entire NFL career with the Giants, starting out as an assistant special teams coach in 2006. He was promoted to coordinator in 2007 and held the position until 2017, winning two Super Bowls against the Patriots. He was fired in 2018 but was re-hired when replacement Thomas McGaughey, who interviewed for the Patriots’ special teams coordinator role, was diagnosed with cancer. He was let go once again when Brian Daboll took over in 2021.

Before breaking into the NFL, Quinn primarily coached linebackers, tight ends, and special teams at the college level, spending most of his time around California. He was also a defensive coordinator at Boston University in 1995 and at Holy Cross from 1996-1998.

Quinn’s 17 years of NFL experience will be invaluable behind first-time coordinator Jeremy Springer. He is one of two assistant coaches for the special teams unit.

Hiring: Brian McDonough – Patriots assistant strength and conditioning coach

Reported: 4:04 PM

The Patriots announced all 17 of their new coaching staff additions Monday afternoon, including assistant strength and conditioning coach Brian McDonough. He will work with the team full-time after serving as a consultant for over 20 years.

McDonough owned a sports performance business called Edge Performance Systems, which worked in strength and conditioning at all levels. He also has a master’s degree in applied exercise science with a concentration in strength and conditioning.

McDonough joins a staff that recently lost head strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera, who worked in New England for eight seasons. Deron Mayo, brother of Jerod, is expected to be promoted after six seasons with the team.

Hiring: Jamael Lett – Patriots defensive quality control coach (Former University of North Carolina special teams analyst)

Reported: 4:04 PM

The Patriots announced all 17 of their new coaching staff additions Monday afternoon, including defensive assistant Jamael Lett.

Lett has spent most of his career coaching special teams at the college level. Before serving as a special teams analyst at the University of North Carolina last season, he was a special teams coordinator and defensive assistant at the University of South Alabama from 2021-2022. He was also an assistant coach at Akron in 2020 and at his alma mater Samford from 2017-2020, where he played defensive back for five seasons.

Lett is one of two quality control coaches on defense.

Hiring: Vinny DePalma – Patriots defensive quality control coach 

Reported: 4:04 PM

The Patriots announced all 17 of their new coaching staff additions Monday afternoon, including defensive assistant Vinny DePalma.

DePalma spent the past six years as a linebacker for Boston College, earning the Swede Nelson Award from the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston for sportsmanship, academics, and athletic achievement in 2022.

DePalma is one of two quality control coaches on defense.

Hiring: Coby Tippett – Patriots special teams quality control coach (Former Tufts University cornerbacks coach)

Reported: 4:04 PM

The Patriots announced all 17 of their new coaching staff additions Monday afternoon, including special teams assistant Coby Tippett. The son of Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett has several ties to New England.

Before coaching cornerbacks at Tufts University last season, Tippett was a coaching assistant during the Patriots’ 2023 training camp. He also played defensive back and returned punts at the University of Rhode Island, earning first-team All-CAA as a returner and third-team honors as a safety, as well as Towson University.

Tippett is the only quality control coach for the special teams unit.

Hiring: Michael McCarthy – Patriots offensive quality control (Former Brown offensive line coach)

Reported: 7:50

FootballScoop’s John Brice reported Wednesday evening that the Patriots are adding Browns offensive line coach Mike McCarthy to their staff.

McCarthy has been on Brown’s staff since 2019, serving as an assistant coach and offensive line coach. He’s previously coached for three NFL teams, breaking into the league as a scouting/video intern for the Jets in 2008. After bouncing around college programs, including the College of New Jersey (offensive line coach), Western Michigan (video director), Tulane (graduate assistant coach, offensive line), and North Carolina Central (tight ends coach), he landed in Cleveland as an offensive quality control coach for the Browns in 2015. From 2016-2017, he took the same position and added assistant offensive line coach to his resume for the Lions. McCarthy spent 2018 as an offensive assistant at Rutgers in 2018 before moving on to Brown.

McCarthy becomes the third coach on New England’s staff with extensive experience coaching the offensive line, a unit that was shorthanded when Adrian Klemm was forced to leave the team due to illness last season.

Hiring: Taylor Embree – Patriots running backs coach (Former Jets running backs coach)

Reported:

CBS Sports‘ Jonathan Jones reported Tuesday afternoon that Taylor Embree will be the Patriots’ new running backs coach after filling the same position for the Jets over the past three seasons.

Embree entered NFL coaching as a defensive assistant for the Chiefs in 2016 before becoming a 49ers offensive quality control coach under Kyle Shanahan from 2017-2019. He spent his first two seasons in San Francisco working with Patriots quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney. In 2020, Embree coached tight ends for Colorado before joining New York’s staff in 2021. During his time with the Jets, he mentored Breece Hall to an Offensive Rookie of the Year-caliber campaign before the back suffered a torn ACL mid-season.

Embree played wide receiver at UCLA and was signed by the Chargers in 2012 as an undrafted free agent but was cut after that preseason. That same year, he served as a graduate assistant at UNLV but returned to his alma mater in the same role from 2013-2014.

With Embree now in the fold, New England’s only remaining coach vacancies are at wide receiver and tight end.

Departure: Will Lawing – Boston College offensive coordinator (Former Patriots tight ends coach)

Reported:

ESPN‘s Peter Thamel reported Monday evening that Boston College is working to hire Patriots tight ends coach Will Lawing as their offensive coordinator. This move doesn’t come as a surprise, as Lawing was expected to follow former New England offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien to his final destination.

Lawing has worked with O’Brien since 2013, when O’Brien was the head coach at Penn State while Lawing was a graduate assistant. When O’Brien became the Texans’ head coach in 2014, Lawing went with him. He started out as a defensive quality control coach, was promoted to an offensive assistant in 2017, and became tight ends coach in 2019. When O’Brien became Alabama’s offensive coordinator in 2021, Lawing once again followed and served as an offensive assistant.

Lawing’s responsibilities with the Patriots extended past his tight ends coach title, as he also helped steady the offensive line room when Adrian Klemm left due to health reasons. His departure officially leaves the team without a vacancy at the spot, and Lawing’s official departure could finally allow New England to pull the trigger on a replacement. And with Troy Brown’s status still up in the air, and his interesting choice of dress at the Senior Bowl, it’s possible the offensive staff could be completely overhauled from last season.

Hiring: Tiquan Underwood – Patriots assistant wide receivers coach (Former Pittsburgh wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator)

Reported:

Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer reported Sunday evening that the Patriots are in the process of hiring Pittsburgh wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator receiver Tiquan Thornton as an assistant wide receivers coach. Underwood was teammates with head coach Jerod Mayo in 2011 but was notoriously cut before that season’s Super Bowl.

Underwood’s coaching career began as a receivers coach for Layafette in 2018. He entered the NFL in 2019 as an offensive quality control coach under Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. In 2020, Underwood returned to his alma mater, Rutgers, as wide receivers coach under Greg Schiano, whom Underwood played for both in college and the NFL. In 2022, he added passing game coordinator to his title in Pittsburgh.

Underwood, who spent six seasons in the NFL and three in the CFL, becomes yet another former player on New England’s coaching staff. The team has yet to name a primary wide receivers coach.

Hiring: Drew Wilkins – Patriots outside linebackers coach (Former Giants outside linebackers coach)

Reported: 9:02 AM

NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that former Ravens and Giants outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins will take the same job in New England, filling the void left by now-University of Washington defensive coordinator Steve Belichick. Rapoport notes that he will reunite with Matt Judon, who made two Pro Bowls while working with Wilkins from 2019-2020.

Wilkins spent most of his NFL coaching career in Baltimore, where he started out as a football video operations intern from 2010-2011. He was promoted to football video coordinator during the Ravens’ Super Bowl-winning 2012 season, assisting with self-scouting and opponent tendencies and making video cutups. Wilkins became a coaching assistant before beginning work with the defensive line and outside linebackers from 2014-2016. This role tasked him with the weekly production of the defensive playbook, scouting reports, film breakdown, and helping develop the defensive line in practice. He worked closely with former Ravens pass rusher Elvis Dumervil, who posted 35.5 sacks with the Ravens from 2013-2016 and set a franchise record with 17 sacks in 2014. Wilkins became the team’s official outside linebackers coach in 2020.

Wilkins followed mentor Don “Wink” Martindale to New York when the latter became the Giants’ defensive coordinator in 2022. Wilkins was reportedly responsible for third-down and blitz designs, and the Giants were known as one of the league’s most aggressive defenses. Both were fired this offseason, and Martindale took a job as Michigan’s defensive coordinator.

Wilkins, along with Jerry Montgomery, brings valuable experience and a proven track record to a young defensive staff. If the group is aligned similarly to seasons past, he could be the final major defensive position coach hiring. He is seen as a young up-and-coming coach and was reportedly considered for “high-level” positions at the college level. Instead, he lands in New England to take over a unit with several question marks, as Anfernee Jennings and Josh Uche are impending free agents, and star Matt Judon turning 32 this summer.

Hiring: Dont’a Hightower – Patriots inside linebackers coach

Reported:

SportsTrust Advisors reported Friday afternoon that their client, former Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower, will return to coach his old position as Jerod Mayo’s replacement.

Last spring, Jerod Mayo said he thought Hightower “would be a phenomenal coach” and that he’d recruit his former teammate once he got a chance to run his own ship. “I got a chance to play beside him. I got a chance to coach him,” Mayo said. “There aren’t many people like Hightower in terms of his smarts.”

Hightower caught wind of the quote and responded with an eyeballs emoji on Twitter.

This will be Hightower’s first season coaching at any level, but his legendary career, all of which was spent in New England, makes him an exciting hire. The 2012 draft’s 25th pick was a perennial team captain and is a member of the Patriots’ All-2010s Team and All-Dynasty Team. He was a difference-maker in three Super Bowl wins, and the only big game loss of New England’s second dynasty came with Hightower sidelined due to a season-ending injury. Hightower also enjoyed a decorated college career, winning two national championships with Alabama and being named a consensus All-American in 2011.

Hightower becomes the second new addition to the Patriots’ defensive staff, along with former Packers defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery. Steve Belichick becoming Washington’s defensive coordinator left a void at outside linebackers coach, so the team may look for another candidate to fill the void. Earlier this offseason, the Patriots interviewed Saints linebackers coach Michael Hodges, who was co-defensive coordinator with DeMarcus Covington at Eastern Illinois, and Panthers outside linebacker Tem Lukabu, so both are names to watch.

Hiring: Robert Kugler  – Patriots staff (Former Panthers assistant offensive line coach)

Reported: 12:28 PM · 2/9/24

The Boston Sports Journal’s Mike Giardi reported Friday afternoon that the Patriots are hiring former Panthers assistant offensive line coach Robert Kugler. Giardi notes Kugler “is well-respected and is seen as a rising star who could be an offensive coordinator down the road.”

Before arriving in Carolina, Kugler held the same title for the Texans in 2021. His mentor in Houston, offensive line coach James Campen, worked with Eliot Wolf and Alex Van Pelt in Green Bay.

His career began as a graduate assistant and tight ends coach for The University of Texas at El Paso in 2017. From 2018-2020, he served as a graduate assistant at The University of Washington, then landed with Appalachian State University as an offensive quality control coach for the 2021 season.

Kugler played center at Purdue from 2012-15, being voted team captain twice and earning a spot on the 2015 Rimington Trophy watch list for the best center in college football. He also spent time on the Bills in 2016.

Jerod Mayo’s potential addition of another coach to the offensive line room seems like a wise choice. Last season, Adrian Klemm’s departure due to health reasons sent the staff into a spiral that required multiple outside coaches to fill in, including assistant offensive line coach Billy Yates, tight ends coach Will Lawing, and even Bill Belichick himself.

Retention: Mike Pellegrino – Patriots cornerbacks coach

Reported: 5:32 PM · 2/8/24

ESPN‘s Mike Reiss reported Thursday evening that Patriots cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino will return for the 2024 season.

Pellegrino is one of the more underrated coaches in the league, and he proved it last season by keeping the cornerback spot steady despite injuries and constant turnover. Myles Bryant had a career season where he lined up at every spot in the secondary. Christian Gonzalez won Defensive Rookie of the Month before suffering a season-ending injury. Jonathan Jones had another exceptional year despite fighting through lower-body ailments. Alex Austin, Shaun Wade, and Marco Wilson were also solid fill-ins when called upon, with Austin possibly being a hidden gem.

Pellegrino has spent his entire coaching career in New England. He started as a coaching assistant in 2015, helping the team to a pair of Super Bowl wins. He was promoted to cornerbacks coach in 2019, when Stephon Gilmore won Defensive Player of the Year. J.C. Jackson was also named a Second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler under Pellegrino’s tutelage in 2021.

Earlier today, Reiss reported safeties coach Brian Belichick will also return, keeping four of a potential five defensive assistants in-house, with former outside linebackers coach Steve Belichick being the only departure. The only new face on the staff is respected coach Jerry Montgomery, a former Alex Van Pelt and Eliot Wolf colleague who replaced defensive coordinator DeMarcus Covington on the defensive line.

Retention: Brian Belichick – Patriots safeties coach

Reported: 9:33 PM · 2/7/24

ESPN‘s Mike Reiss reported Wednesday evening that Patriots safeties coach Brian Belichick will return for the 2024 season.

Both Brian and Steve Belichick received offers to remain in New England, but Steve left his position as outside linebackers coach to become the University of Washington’s defensive coordinator.

The youngest Belichick has spent his entire coaching career with the Patriots and has won two Super Bowls with the team. After spending 2016 as a scouting assistant, he served as a coaching assistant from 2017 to 2019. Belichick was promoted to safeties coach in 2020 and has held the position ever since, mentoring a group that is consistently one of the league’s best.

Hiring: Scott Peters – Patriots coaching staff (Former Browns assistant offensive line coach)

Reported:

KPRC2‘s Aaron Wilson reported Wednesday afternoon that the Patriots are hiring Scott Peters, who served as the Browns assistant offensive line coach since 2020. Wilson notes that Peters “has extensive MMA background” and “won two Brazilian jiu-jitsu world championships in submission grappling,” giving him a similar background to New England’s director of skill development and martial arts expert Joe Kim.

Peters spent his entire NFL coaching career in Cleveland under legendary offensive line coach Bill Callahan. He also played seven seasons in the NFL as an interior offensive lineman before becoming a coach.

While Peters’ role has not yet been confirmed, the assumption is he will coach New England’s offensive line. Adrian Klemm was hired to bring stability to the Patriots’ line last offseason, but he had little talent to work with and eventually left the team due to health reasons.

Peters brings more familiarity to a coaching staff full of offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt’s former colleagues, joining senior offensive assistant Ben McAdoo, quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney and defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery.

Report: Eliot Wolf – Patriots director of scouting; Matt Groh – Patriots director of player personnel

Reported:

NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf “will be in charge of the personnel department, with control of the 53-man roster working closely with Jerod Mayo” while director of player personnel Matt Groh “will mostly handle college scouting, with Pat Stewart heavily involved in all aspects.” Rapoport points to Wolf as being the team’s de facto general manager, saying, “Wolf will lead and collaborate with [Patrick] Stewart, Groh, and [Alex] Highsmith to work the offseason, including the all-important QB decision.”

Wolf has close ties with several of the team’s coaches and front-office hires. He was in Foxborough filling out the staff with Mayo while Groh was scouting and interviewing prospects at the Senior Bowl.

Much was made about the Patriots’ decision to wait on hiring a general manager, but Wolf always seemed like a favorite to fill the role thanks to an impressive resume.

He climbed the ladder in Green Bay’s front office over the course of 13 seasons, starting out as a pro personnel assistant in 2004 and working all the way up to director of football operations in 2016. He then served as the Browns’ assistant general manager from 2018-2019 before joining the Patriots in 2020, where he was a consultant for two seasons before being named director of scouting in 2022.

While New England’s inconsistent track record in the draft can be seen as a slight against Wolf, we have no idea how much of that was influenced by Bill Belichick, who had the final say on all decisions. With the Krafts clearly viewing Belichick as a barrier that held the team back in recent seasons, Wolf will have an opportunity to put his fingerprints on one of the most pivotal offseasons in franchise history.

Hiring: Bobby Brown – Patriots football operations (Former Texans associate director of football administration)

Reported: 12:46 PM · 2/7/24

KPRC2‘s Aaron Wilson reported Wednesday afternoon that the Patriots are hiring Texans associate director of football administration Bobby Brown for “a key executive administrative role.”

Brown worked in the Texans’ salary cap department under former Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, where his role was “overseeing salary cap and contract matters.”

Brown becomes the first hiring this offseason with ties to New England, as he spent nearly seven years with the Patriots. He served as an associate director of football administration, coordinator of football operations and team travel, and as a football operations assistant. Brown also spent time as a member of Boston College’s football equipment department, where he also received his master’s degree in athletic administration.

Hiring: Alonzo Highsmith – Patriots front office (Former general manager of football operations at the University of Miami)

Reported:

The Athletic‘s Chad Graff reported Wednesday morning that the Patriots plan to add Alonzo Highsmith to their front office. Highsmith has been the University of Miami’s general manager of football operations since 2022.

Highsmith played in the NFL from 1987-1992, entering the league as a 3rd overall pick of the Houston Oilers. He’d previously played fullback for legendary coach Jimmy Johnson at Miami, where Highsmith won a national championship and was inducted into the school’s sports hall of fame.

Both Highsmith and director of scouting Eliot Wolf got their starts in an NFL front office with the Packers, where Highsmith was hired as a senior personnel executive in 2012 while Wolf served as director of pro personnel. After six seasons with the team, Highsmith became the Browns’ vice president of player personnel while Wolf was hired as Cleveland’s assistant general manager. Both left for different opportunities in 2020, with Wolf moving on to the Patriots and Highsmith becoming an offseason consultant for the Seahawks before being promoted to a full-time personnel executive.

Highsmith returned to his alma mater as Miami’s general manager of football operations in 2022. According to Graff’s report, the coach helped head coach Mario Cristobal evaluate transfer prospects, worked on administrative functions like budget and culture building, and “worked with staffers both on and off the field.” Graff notes the Hurricanes have signed top-10 recruiting classes in back-to-back years, including quarterback Cam Ward.

Highsmith’s experience in multiple successful front offices makes him an intriguing addition to New England’s staff. He also becomes the team’s fourth hire with ties to Eliot Wolf, joining offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery senior offensive assistant Ben McAdoo.

Report: T.C. McCartney – Former Browns tight ends coach

Reported:

CBS Sports‘ Jonathan Jones reported Wednesday morning that the Patriots are targeting former Browns tight ends coach T.C. McCartney for their quarterbacks coach vacancy. McCartney was let go along with current Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and running backs coach Stump Mitchell following Cleveland’s loss in the Wild Card Round.

McCartney spent the past two seasons as the Browns’ tight ends coach, mentoring David Njoku to his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2023. However, he played quarterback at LSU and coached quarterbacks for the Broncos in 2019, where his primary starter was Joe Flacco.

Most of McCartney’s coaching career has been spent as an offensive assistant, with much of that time being split between San Francisco and Cleveland. He served as a graduate assistant at LSU in 2011 and Colorado from 2012-2013, then made his NFL debut as a coaching assistant under Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in 2014. After spending 2015 as an offensive assistant and quality control coach for the 49ers, then returning to his graduate assistant role at LSU in 2016, McCartney reunited with Shanahan during the latter’s first season as 49ers head coach in 2017.

McCartney was promoted to quarterbacks coach with Denver in 2019 but returned to Cleveland in 2020, serving as an offensive assistant under first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. He became tight ends coach in 2022 when current Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzig moved up to quarterbacks coach.

McCartney is the Patriots’ first offensive hire with no connection to director of scouting Eliot Wolf, but he continues a trend of coaches who have a history working with quarterbacks. His experience working under Van Pelt should be invaluable as New England adapts to a new scheme and fills out its staff.

Hiring: Ben McAdoo – Patriots senior assistant offensive coach (Former Panthers offensive coordinator)

Reported:

NFL Network‘s Mike Garofolo reported this morning that the Patriots are hiring Ben McAdoo as an offensive assistant coach. Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer reported Saturday afternoon that the Patriots were in talks to add Ben McAdoo to their offensive staff, saying he would most likely “play an assistant head coach type of role and help OC Alex Van Pelt on that side of the ball.”

McAdoo becomes the third coach hired in the new Patriots regime who worked with director of scouting Eliot Wolf in Green Bay. McAdoo coached for the Packers from 2006-2013, overlapping with Wolf, offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, and defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery. After serving as the Packers’ tight ends coach from 2006-2011, winning a Super Bowl in 2010, he was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2012 while Van Pelt was in charge of running backs. When McAdoo left to become the Giants’ offensive coordinator in 2014, Van Pelt took over his old role. Both coaches also worked under Mike McCarthy, and McAdoo reunited with the head coach as a consultant for the Cowboys in 2021.

McAdoo has a diverse coaching background. In addition to his experience with quarterbacks and tight ends, he worked with the 49ers as an assistant offensive line coach in 2005 after breaking into the league as an offensive quality control coach for the Saints a year earlier. McAdoo also has head coaching experience, having taken over for Tom Coughlin in 2016 following two seasons as the Giants’ offensive coordinator. After an unsuccessful two-year stint that included a 13-15 regular season record and a playoff loss, McAdoo was fired by New York in 2020. He then served as the Jaguars’ quarterbacks coach for one season before being let go. He was most recently an offensive coordinator for the Panthers in 2022 under Matt Rhule, who was fired midway through the season.

McAdoo’s track record since flaming out in New York may give some pause, but he’ll be in a reduced role that should allow his strengths to shine. He’s actually known as an exceptional talent evaluator, specifically at the quarterback position. McAdoo wanted the Giants to trade up for Patrick Mahomes back in 2017, and he had Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson as the top quarterback prospects in 2018 ahead of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Mason Rudolph, and eventual 1st overall pick Baker Mayfield. If he can bring a similar eye to New England, it might help the Patriots find the future face of their franchise.

Hiring: Jerry Montgomery – Patriots defensive line coach (Former Packers defensive line coach and running game coordinator)

Reported:

ESPN‘s Rob Demovsky reported Monday afternoon that the Patriots have hired former Packers defensive line coach and running game coordinator Jerry Montgomery to fill the defensive line coach vacancy left by DeMarcus Covington’s recent promotion. His visit was reported hours earlier by colleague Mike Reiss.

Along with offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, Montgomery becomes the second coaching staff addition to have worked with Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf in Green Bay. Former Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo could join the bunch as well, as reports indicate he could join in an assistant coaching role.

Montgomery serves as the only concrete member of the defensive coaching staff outside of Covington, as safeties coach Brian Belichick and cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino’s statuses are unknown. Former outside linebackers coach Steve Belichick accepted an offer to become the University of Washington’s defensive coordinator earlier today, which could open the door for someone like Tem Lukabu or Michael Hodgens to fill his role.

Interview: Jerry Montgomery – Former Packers defensive line coach and running game coordinator

Reported:

ESPN‘s Mike Reiss reported Monday afternoon that the Patriots interviewed former Packers defensive line coach and running game coordinator Jerry Montgomery for the defensive line coach vacancy left by DeMarcus Covington’s recent promotion.

Montgomery spent his entire NFL coaching career in Green Bay. He started as a defensive front assistant from 2015-2017, during which time he worked with Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. Montgomery was promoted to defensive line coach in 2018 and added running game coordinator to his title in 2022, but it was announced after the 2023 season that he wouldn’t return.

Before breaking into the NFL, Montgomery worked in several college programs, mostly bouncing around Iowa. After getting his first coaching job as a student assistant for Iowa in 2003, he became an assistant coach for Iowa City West High School from 2003-2004, moved up to defensive coordinator at North Iowa Community College in 2005, then spent three seasons at Northern Iowa as a graduate assistant and defensive tackles coach before being promoted to defensive line coach in 2007. Montgomery took the same role at Wyoming from 2009-2010 and moved to defensive tackle coach for Indiana in 2011, but quickly moved back to the defensive line after accepting an offer to join Michigan’s staff the same year. After two seasons in Ann Arbor, he served as Oklahoma’s defensive line coach from 2013-2014.

At 44 years old, Montgomery would bring an older presence to a defensive staff that is currently trending young. He also continues the Packers-Patriots pipeline being established by Wolf, whose presence in recent hirings and interviews has been strongly felt.

Departure: Vinnie Sunseri – University of Washington coaching staff (Former Patriots running backs coach)

Reported:

The Athletic‘s Bruce Feldman reported Monday morning that Patriots running backs coach Vinnie Sunseri is expected to first-year head coach Jedd Fisch’s staff at the University of Washington, along with former New England outside linebackers coach and defensive play-caller Steve Belichick. Sunseri worked with Fisch when the latter served as a quarterbacks coach for New England in 2020.

Sunseri has been on the Patriots’ staff since 2020, where he served as a defensive coaching assistant before becoming running backs coach in 2021. He also played for New England briefly in 2016. Director of scouting Eliot Wolf has been reshaping the offensive staff with former Packers colleagues, so it isn’t a surprise to see Sunseri accept an outside opportunity.

Former Browns running backs coach Stump Mitchell, who worked with Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt from 2020-2023, is a name to watch as the team looks to fill the void left by Sunseri.

Departure: Steve Belichick – University of Washington defensive coordinator (Former Patriots outside linebackers coach)

Report:

Reported:

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported Saturday afternoon that the Patriots are in talks to add Ben McAdoo to their offensive staff, saying he will most likely “play an assistant head coach type of role and help OC Alex Van Pelt on that side of the ball.”

This would be another example of Director of Scouting Eliot Wolf’s influence on New England’s offensive hiring, as McAdoo overlapped with Wolf and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt in Green Bay. After serving as the Packers’ tight ends coach from 2006-2011, winning a Super Bowl in 2010, he was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2012 while Van Pelt was in charge of running backs. When McAdoo left to become the Giants’ offensive coordinator in 2014, Van Pelt took over his old role. Both coaches also worked under Mike McCarthy, and McAdoo reunited with the head coach as a consultant for the Cowboys in 2021.

McAdoo has a diverse coaching background. In addition to his experience with quarterbacks and tight ends, he worked with the 49ers as an assistant offensive line coach in 2005 after breaking into the league as an offensive quality control coach for the Saints a year earlier. McAdoo also has head coaching experience, having taken over for Tom Coughlin in 2016 following two seasons as the Giants’ offensive coordinator. After an unsuccessful two-year stint that included a 13-15 regular season record and a playoff loss, McAdoo was fired by New York in 2020. He then served as the Jaguars’ quarterbacks coach for one season before being let go. He was most recently an offensive coordinator for the Panthers in 2022 under Matt Rhule, who was fired midway through the season.

McAdoo’s struggles as a head coach and as Carolina’s offensive coordinator are concerning, but in addition to his experience overseeing multiple positions, he brings experience to a young coaching staff, and his familiarity with Wolf and Van Pelt is valuable.

Report: Steve Belichick – Patriots outside linebackers coach

Reported:

ESPN‘s Field Yates reported Friday afternoon that Patriots outside linebackers coach and defensive play-caller Steve Belichick is interviewing for a defensive job on Jedd Fisch’s staff at the University of Washington today, along with running backs coach Vinnie Sunseri. Yates notes there is familiarity with Fisch, who served as a quarterbacks coach for New England in 2020.

Belichick has been on the Patriots’ staff since 2012, serving as a defensive assistant before being promoted to safeties coach in 2016. He contributed to three Super Bowl wins over that span. Belichick was elevated to secondary and safeties coach in 2019, then moved to outside linebackers in 2020 and became co-defacto-defensive coordinator alongside Jerod Mayo as the defensive s play-caller. Their unit has consistently been among the league’s best over that span and was the only reason the team was competitive in a disastrous 2023 season.

Belichick was offered the chance to return to the Patriots’ revamped staff earlier this offseason, though there was also speculation over whether he would follow father Bill Belichick to his next destination. Once the senior Belichick’s opportunities dried up, it seemed like Steve was a safe bet to return, particularly due to his close relationship with Mayo. However, former defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington’s promotion to defensive coordinator may have prompted Belichick to look for outside opportunities.

If Belichick does leave for Washington, Panthers outside linebackers coach Tem Lukabu and Saints linebackers coach Michael Hodges are names to watch, as both interviewed with New England earlier this offseason. Lukabu has a relationship with Mayo from the former’s time coaching at Boston College, while Hodges was a co-defensive coordinator with Covington when the two were at Eastern Illinois.

Report: Vinnie Sunseri – Patriots running backs coach

Reported:

ESPN‘s Field Yates reported Friday afternoon that Patriots running backs coach Vinnie Sunseri is interviewing for a defensive job on Jedd Fisch’s staff at the University of Washington today, along with outside linebackers coach and defensive play-caller Steve Belichick. Yates notes there is familiarity with Fisch, who served as a quarterbacks coach for New England in 2020.

Sunseri has been on the Patriots’ staff since 2020, where he served as a defensive coaching assistant before becoming running backs coach in 2021. He also played for New England briefly in 2016.

If Sunseri does leave for Washington, former Browns running backs coach Stump Mitchell, who worked with Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt from 2020-2023, is a name to watch.

Report: Andy Dickerson – Former Seahawks offensive line coach 

Reported: 6:02 PM

ESPN‘s Mike Reiss reported Thursday evening that the Patriots are targeting former Seahawks offensive line coach Andy Dickerson to be their new offensive line coach. The announcement came less than an hour after Alex Van Pelt was announced as the team’s offensive coordinator. Reiss notes Dickerson’s proven success with Seattle tackles Charles Cross (9th overall pick in 2022) and Abraham Lucas (72nd overall pick in 2022).

Dickerson began his Seahawks career in 2021 as an offensive run game coordinator, working under former Tufts teammate and NFL colleague Shane Waldron. The next season, he was promoted to offensive line coach after Mike Solari was let go. While his unit struggled last season, Dickerson had to overcome youth, inexperience, and injuries, and Seattle’s line outperformed despite fielding backups in multiple games.

Before landing in Seattle, Dickerson spent most of his coaching career with the Rams, where he was the team’s longest-tenured coach before his departure. He served as an assistant offensive line coach under three different head coaches from 2012-2020, and he coached against the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.

Dickerson also has ties to the Patriots, as he worked in the operations department from 2004-2005 and was part of the organization during its third Super Bowl win. After his time in New England, he worked as a coaching assistant and defensive quality control coach for the Jets from 2006-2008. He then retained his defensive quality control position as a member of the Browns in 2009 and became Cleveland’s assistant offensive line coach in 2010. Dickerson returned to the Jets in 2011 as a coaching assistant before being hired by the Rams.

New England showed a lot of interest in coaches from the Sean McVay tree, including Waldron, during their offensive coordinator search, so Dickerson’s familiarity with the culture and scheme could allow for some carryover. His ability to work with young players would also serve him well in a Patriots offensive line room that is full of second-year players and could add at least one rookie this offseason, particularly with Jerod Mayo emphasizing his desire for “developers” on the coaching staff.

Hiring: Alex Van Pelt – Patriots offensive coordinator (Former Browns offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach)

Reported: 5

NFL Network‘s Tom Pelissero reported Thursday afternoon that former Browns offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt has been named the Patriots’ newest offensive coordinator. Van Pelt hadn’t previously been tied to the Patriots, but MassLive‘s Mark Daniels reports that Van Pelt was in Gillette Stadium today for an interview.

ESPN‘s Mike Reiss says that a source described the coach as a “Great football mind. Very relatable to players [as a] former player” and described his system as one “based in West Coast, but [with] multiple influences.” The Athletic‘s Jeff Howe called him a “great person who can establish a positive offensive culture.”

Van Pelt spent the past four seasons in Cleveland, a team that made the playoffs despite fielding five different quarterbacks. Joe Flacco came out of retirement in late November to help settle the position and is now a Comeback Player of the Year finalist. Despite the Browns’ mostly turbulent quarterback situation and losing Nick Chubb to a season-ending injury in mid-September, they finished 10th in points per game.

Van Pelt was fired along with running backs coach Stump Mitchell and tight ends coach T.C. McCartney after Cleveland’s Wild Card loss to the Texans. While the Browns’ offense received criticism for being somewhat stale, as evidenced by Christian Harris’ pick six where head coach Demeco Ryans predicted what was coming, the move came as a bit of a surprise and reportedly didn’t sit well with some players.

Unlike other available candidates New England had interviewed for the position, Van Pelt has five years of coordinator experience and has worked with quarterbacks extensively since playing the position in the NFL for 11 seasons.

After breaking into coaching with the Frankfurt Galaxy in 2005, he spent four seasons in Buffalo, where he played from 1994-2003. Van Pelt served as an offensive quality control coach from 2006-2007, was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2008, and added offensive coordinator to his job description in 2009.

After being fired along with the rest of the Bills’ coaching staff, Van Pelt went on to coach quarterbacks for the Buccaneers from 2010-2011 under current Falcons head coach Raheem Morris.

After Morris’ staff was fired in 2012, Van Pelt became the Packers’ running backs coach, a position he held for two seasons. In 2014, he was promoted to quarterbacks coach, the same season Aaron Rodgers won his second MVP award. Van Pelt also overlapped with current Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf, who’s been helping Jerod Mayo interview coaching candidates.

Van Pelt’s contract expired in 2018, so he took the same position with the Bengals from 2018 to 2019. In 2020, he moved on to become Kevin Stefanski’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during Stefaski’s first season as head coach. Under Van Pelt, Baker Mayfield posted a career-high 95.9 passer rating in 2020 while helping his team to an 11-5 record.

Van Pelt, 53, brings much-needed experience to the Patriots’ coaching staff. Mayo is 37, while DeMarcus Covington and Jeremy Springer are both 34. While Van Pelt hasn’t been a head coach himself, he’s worked for respected leaders Mike McCarthy, Marvin Lewis, Zac Taylor, and the aforementioned Morris and Stefanski. He could help Mayo avoid some pitfalls associated with rookie head coaches while potentially helping mentor a rookie quarterback.

Van Pelt’s play-calling abilities are mostly unknown, as he only called the 2020 Wild Card win over the Steelers during his Browns tenure. That said, this could be a homerun hiring for the Patriots, as he checks several other boxes and could potentially recruit talented assistant coaches to fill out the offensive staff. His resume also aligns with Mayo’s emphasis on recruiting “developers” to fill out New England’s coaching staff.

Hiring: Jeremy Springer – Patriots special teams coach (Former Rams assistant special teams coach)

Reported: 9:08 AM · 1/31/24

NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning that the Patriots are hiring former Rams assistant special teams coordinator Jeremy Springer as their new special teams coach. Springer visited New England earlier this week with offensive coordinator candidate Nick Caley for an in-person interview after meeting with the team virtually last week.

Springer was on LA’s staff for the past two seasons. While the Rams’ special teams units were by far the worst in the league following the hiring of Chase Blackburn as special teams coordinator, they were much better in 2022. Kicker Matt Gay hit a career-high 93.3% of his field goal attempts, and Brandon Powell finished 8th in total kick return yards, and 7th in kickoffs returned past the 20-yard line among players with at least 20 kickoff returns in 2022. The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrique also noted last February that the Rams were “stoked to keep Springer around as an up-and-coming young coach they want to keep developing” when he decided to stay with the team.

Springer’s coaching career began as a graduate assistant at his alma mater UTEP in 2013, where he played linebacker and special teams at UTEP from 2007-2011 and was a four-time Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll member. He then worked under special teams coordinator Jeff Banks and assisted with tight ends at Texas A&M. The Aggies were one of the college football’s best special teams units during that span, leading the nation in blocked kicks and punts in 2017.

In 2018, Springer moved on to Marshall’s staff, helping lead their kick return unit to a 38.1-yard average, good for ranked 4th in the conference.

Springer went on to become the special teams coordinator at the University of Arizona from 2018-2020, where former Patriots running back J.J. Taylor averaged 24.5 yards per return on 22 returns in 2018, including one touchdown, and 23.6 yards per kick return with 19 total returns in 2019. Arizona kicker Lucas Havrisik also converted 90% of his field goal attempts in a shortened 2020 season.

The Patriots clearly needed to go in a different direction on special teams after two unacceptable seasons. While this likely signals the end for Joe Judge in New England, it will be interesting to see if his co-special teams coordinator Cam Achord returns in some capacity.

Interview: Luke Getsy – Former Bears offensive coordinator

Reported: 3:18 PM · 1/30/24

Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer reported Tuesday afternoon that former Bears offensive coordinator is in New England today to interview for the team’s offensive coordinator job.

Head coach Jerod Mayo told The Greg Hill Show last Monday that this week would be reserved for in-person meetings revolving around X’s and O’s, while last week was more for philosophical questions over Zoom. Rams tight ends coach Nick Caley is the only other candidate reported to have met with the team this week.

Getsy struggled as the Bears’ offensive coordinator from 2022-2023, receiving criticism for his schematic handling of Justin Fields. But the Patriots, who have been heavily connected to the Shanahan and McVay coaching trees, could see value in the time Getsy spent with the Packers from 2020-2021. During this time, he served as Green Bay’s quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator under Matt LaFleur, working with Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love. Getsy also worked with current Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf from 2014-2017 when Wolf worked in the Packers’ front office.

Interview: Klint Kubiak – 49ers passing game coordinator

Reported: 10:02 AM · 1/29/24

Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer reported Monday morning that the Patriots interviewed 49ers passing game coordinator Klint Kubiak for their offensive coordinator job.

He’s the son of four-time Super Bowl-winning coach Gary Kubiak and is another candidate with no connection to the Patriots. In his first season as the 49ers’ passing game coordinator, Kubiak mentored Brock Purdy to a league-high 113.0 passer rating.

Prior to 2023, Kubiak’s pro career had been split between the Vikings and Broncos. He started out as an offensive quality control coach for Minnesota from 2014-2014 before becoming Kansas’ wide receivers coach in 2015. He then served as an offensive assistant in Denver from 2016-2018, working under his father during his first season with the team.

Kubiak followed his father back to the Vikings in 2019, serving as Minnesota’s quarterbacks coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2021.

In 2022, Kubiak became the Broncos’ passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, as well as the offense’s play-caller in late November due to Denver’s offensive struggles.

Kubiak is the second candidate New England has interviewed with ties to Kyle Shanahan, as the team also met with San Fransisco tight ends coach Brian Fleury. With the majority of their offensive coordinator interviews being held with disciples of Shanahan or Sean McVay, it’s clear head coach Jerod Mayo is attempting to familiarize himself with the NFL’s most dominant scheme.

Interview: Scott Turner – Raiders passing game coordinator 

Reported: 10:02 AM · 1/29/24

Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer reported Monday morning that the Patriots plan to meet with Raiders passing game coordinator Scott Turner for their offensive coordinator job.

He’s the son of two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Norv Turner and has no connection to New England, though he spent multiple seasons working with former Patriots quarterback Cam Newton when the two were in Carolina.

Turner’s NFL coaching career began as a Panthers offensive quality control coach under first-year coach Ron Rivera from 2011-2012. He became a wide receivers coach for the Browns in 2013, where his father was offensive coordinator. After a one-season stint in Cleveland, Turner served as a quarterbacks coach for the Vikings from 2014-2016, where he worked with Teddy Bridgewater. The coach then left the NFL in 2017 to become an offensive analyst for Michigan under Jim Harbaugh.

In 2018, Turner returned to the Panthers as quarterbacks coach and reunited with Cam Newton. The quarterback put together one of the best campaigns of his career before a shoulder injury against the Steelers derailed his season and, ultimately, his career. Turner was named interim offensive coordinator during the final quarter of the 2019 season when Ron Rivera was fired, then followed Rivera to Washington in 2020. There, he served as the team’s offensive coordinator until being dismissed after the 2022 season.

Before landing in the NFL, Turner started out as a graduate assistant for Oregon State in 2005. After serving as offensive coordinator for South County High School from 2006-2007, he returned to the college game as an offensive assistant for Pittsburgh from 2008-2009. He was promoted to wide receivers coach in 2010.

Turner has worked with some of the most highly-respected coaches in football, and his experience working with Cam Newton during one of the quarterback’s greatest stretches is intriguing. Though his resume isn’t glowing in the years since, outside of a strong early-season stretch from Carson Wentz in 2022, Turner hasn’t been surrounded by great quarterback talent, either. He has also worked with both quarterbacks and receivers, giving him a unique perspective on the game.

Departure: Joe Houston – Patriots assistant special teams coach > Florida special teams coach

Reported: 1:31 PM · 1/28/24

247Sports‘ Jacob Rudner reported Sunday afternoon that Patriots assistant special teams coordinator is set to become Florida’s new special teams coach. He spent his entire NFL coaching career in New England, where he held the same title for four seasons.

Houston’s coaching career began as a quality control coach for Toledo in 2015. From 2016-2017, he was an associate for quality control for Iowa State before being promoted to special teams coordinator in 2018. The next season, he took a special teams analyst job with Alabama under Nick Saban.

New England’s special teams have been among the league’s worst units over the past two seasons, particularly in kickoff coverage. Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer reported this morning that Rams assistant special teams coach Jeremy Springer, who met with the team virtually last week, will be in New England today for an in-person interview on Monday. Special teams coaches Joe Judge and Cam Achord’s futures are still unknown, but one would assume Springer joining the staff would mean one or both coaches will be looking for work elsewhere in 2024.

Report: Nick Caley – Rams tight ends coach

Reported: 6:15 AM · 1/28/24

ESPN‘s Mike Reiss reported Sunday morning that Rams tight ends coach and former Patriots assistant coach Nick Caley “is viewed by some close to the process as well-positioned to ultimately lead the offense.” This news comes one day after former Rams pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson, who met with New England virtually earlier this week, was named the Falcons’ newest offensive coordinator. Robinson’s connection to new head coach Raheem Morris was reportedly a main selling point.

Friday afternoon, NFL Network‘s Tom Pelissero reported that Caley would be traveling to New England today for an in-person interview. While Caley doesn’t have play-calling experience, Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer noted last week that he could be paired with a senior offensive assistant to help him transition into the role.

Not much is known about Caley, but The Athletic‘s Jourdan Rodrique told me he’s “a very good teacher,” noting his work with 5th-round tight end Davis Allen last season. This matches Jerod Mayo’s proclamation that he wants “developers” on New England’s revamped staff. Rodrique also said Caley is “all energy, all the time” and that he “attacks everything with a ton of enthusiasm.”

Caley’s experience with the Patriots and Rams could allow him to blend the best of both systems if he does ultimately become the team’s coordinator. His time as a tight ends coach also provides a unique perspective, as he has been involved in both the pass and run games for New England and LA.

Promotion: DeMarcus Covington – Patriots defensive coordinator (Former Patriots defensive line coach)

Reported: 11:57 AM

Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer reported Saturday morning that Patriots defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington has been promoted to defensive coordinator. He will be the team’s first official defensive coordinator since 2017 when Matt Patricia held the title. New England also interviewed Panthers outside linebackers coach Tem Lukabu, Broncos secondary coach Christian Parker, Saints linebackers coach Michael Hodges, and former Steelers secondary coach Gerald Alexander for the role.

Covington has been the favorite to fill the role since Mayo’s hiring after coaching the best position group on the team in 2017. He’s been on the Patriots staff since 2017, serving as a coaching assistant before being promoted to outside linebackers coach in 2019 and then defensive line coach in 2020. He won a Super Bowl with the team during the 2018 season when New England defeated the Rams.

Covington’s coaching career began as a defensive graduate assistant at UAB in 2012. He held the same position at Ole Miss from 2013 to 2014, then rose above the graduate assistant ranks to become a defensive line coach for UT Martin in 2015.

Before landing in New England, Covington moved on to Eastern Illinois in 2016, where he added co-defensive coordinator to his title alongside Michael Hodges, who also recently interviewed for the Patriots’ defensive coordinator position.

Covington is highly respected around the league as one of its rising young coaches. After serving as the American roster’s defensive coordinator at last year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl, he interviewed for defensive coordinator jobs with the Cardinals and Chargers. Covington also led the Patriots’ best position group this season. Christian Barmore and Anfernee Jennings enjoyed breakout seasons, and New England fielded the NFL’s best run defense despite losing star player Matthew Judon in Week 4. Speaking of Judon, the red-sleeved wonder earned his third and fourth consecutive Pro Bowl nods under Covington’s tutelage.

The hiring will help maintain continuity for the unit that kept New England competitive despite atrocious offensive play and shaky special teams. Looking forward, it will be interesting to see if Michael Hodges, who served as co-defensive coordinator with Covington at Eastern Illinois in 2016, joins New England’s staff.

Report: Luke Getsy – Former Bears offensive coordinator

Reported: 10:23 AM

ESPN‘s Jeremy Fowler reported Saturday morning that former Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will interview for the Patriots’ offensive coordinator job after meeting with the Raiders for the same position.

Getsy spent the majority of his NFL coaching career with the Packers in multiple roles. After serving as an offensive quality control coach from 2014-2015, he was promoted to wide receivers coach in 2016. He left Green Bay in 2018 to become Mississippi State’s offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, but he returned in 2019 to coach quarterbacks under Matt LaFleur. Getsy became both quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator in 2020 before becoming Chicago’s offensive coordinator in 2022.

Before breaking into the NFL, Getsy bounced around college programs, serving as a graduate assistant for Akron from 2007-2008, becoming West Virginia Weslyan’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2009, returning to a graduate assistant role for Pittsburgh in 2010, once again becoming an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks for Indiana from 2011-2012, and serving as Western Michigan’s wide receivers coach in 2013.

After the 2023 season, Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said the “growth and the development of the offense…needed to be better than where it was,” so New England’s interest in Getsy is interesting, to say the least. But it continues head coach Jerod Mayo’s thorough search to fill the position and adds another disciple from the Shanahan coaching tree.

Report: Brian Fleury – 49ers tight ends coach

Reported: 10:09 AM

NFL Network‘s Tom Pelissero reported Saturday morning that 49ers tight ends coach Brian Fleury interviewed for the Patriots’ offensive coordinator job. Pelissero notes that Fleury “has become a trusted assistant for Kyle Shanahan.”

Fleury has been with San Fransisco for five seasons, starting as a defensive quality control coach in 2019 and shifting to offensive quality control from 2020-2021. He was promoted to tight ends coach in 2022, where he helped George Kittle reach two All-Pro and Pro Bowl seasons. Kittle also reached a career-high 11 touchdown receptions, the 3rd-most for a single season at the position in franchise history.

Fleury worked with the Dolphins before landing in San Francisco, serving as a football research assistant and helping coach linebackers in 2016 before being promoted to director of football research from 2017-2018, where he worked with defensive coordinator Matt Burke to help prepare for upcoming opponents and follow NFL trends. He also helped coach the defensive line in 2017.

Fleury started his NFL coaching career as a quality control coach for the Bills in 2013, where he worked with linebackers. He then worked with the Bills as an assistant linebackers coach in 2014 before being promoted to outside linebackers coach in 2015.

Before entering the NFL, Fleury was an assistant at Sacred Heart from 2005-2008. He served as secondary coach in 2005 and was promoted to defensive coordinator the following three seasons. He then coached at Towson University as special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach from 2009-2012.

Fleury is the first direct Shanahan disciple the Patriots have been linked to in their offensive coordinator search. But he continues the team’s trend of bringing in minds from the Shanahan-McVay coaching tree, and his experience coaching both sides of the ball could provide an interesting perspective to New England’s staff.

Report: Marquice Williams – Falcons special teams coordinator

Reported:

KPRC 2 Houston‘s Aaron Wilson reported Friday evening that Falcons special teams coordinator Marquice Williams was offered the same position with the Patriots but declined.

Williams was the top candidate among special teams coaches that New England has reportedly met with. But with Raheem Morris being announced as the team’s newest head coach last night, it’s likely Williams was offered the chance to stay put. When Bill Belichick seemed like the frontrunner a week ago, Atlanta allowed coaches whom they previously blocked from taking interviews to pursue outside roles.

Earlier this evening, NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport reported that Rams special teams coach Jeremy Springer, who met with the Patriots virtually last week, will fly to Foxboro on Sunday for an in-person interview along with LA tight ends coach Nick Caley. Thomas McGaughey is the only other special teams coach the team has been tied to this offseason, so it could be a two-horse race for the position.

Interview: Tanner Engstrand – Lions passing game coordinator

Reported: 3:35 PM ·

NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport reported Friday afternoon that the Patriots plan to interview Lions passing game coordinator Tanner Engstrand for their offensive coordinator position. Rapoport notes that the assistant coach “has become a popular one around the NFL thanks to Detroit’s offensive success.”

Engstrand has spent his entire NFL coaching career in Detroit. He began as an offensive assistant in 2020 before being named tight ends coach in 2022 under first-year offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. His group combined for 12 touchdown catches, establishing a new single-season franchise record. Three of Engstrand’s tight ends registered multi-touchdown games, another NFL record. In 2023, his efforts were rewarded with a promotion to passing game coordinator, helping Amon-Ra St. Brown earn his first First-Team All-Pro nod. Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta also led all tight ends with 11 touchdowns, and the Lions also ranked 4th in passing yards.

Before reaching the NFL, Engstrand spent most of his career at San Diego. After serving as a graduate assistant from 2005-2006 under Jim Harbaugh. He was named running backs coach in 2007, then quarterbacks coach in 2009. He added offensive coordinator to his title in 2011, then added assistant head coach to his resume in 2013.

Engstrand reunited with Harbaugh as an offensive analyst for Michigan in 2018. He then became an offensive coordinator and running backs coach for the XFL’s DC Defenders in 2019 before landing in Detroit.

Engstrand’s time under two of the NFL’s most respected offensive minds, Johnson and Harbaugh, and his experience coaching multiple positions make him one of the most interesting candidates New England has interviewed. If finally given his shot to lead an NFL offense, he should have the capacity to work with nearly every offensive group. He’s also been one of the less heralded offensive coordinator prospects, so the Patriots might not have much competition for his services outside of Detroit.

Interview: Thomas Brown – Panthers offensive coordinator

CBS Sports‘ Jonathan Jones reported Friday morning that Panthers offensive coordinator Thomas Brown recently interviewed for the same job with the Patriots. Based on what’s been made public, he was the first minority candidate to meet with the team.

Another Sean McVay disciple, Brown began his NFL coaching career with the Rams, where he spent three seasons before moving on to Carolina. He started as a running backs coach for LA in 2020 before also being named assistant head coach in 2021. He then became the team’s tight ends coach in 2022 while keeping his assistant head coach title.

Brown played running back for the Falcons in 2008 and the Browns from 2008-2010 before breaking into coaching. He bounced around college programs from 2011-2019, serving as a strength and conditioning coach for Georgia and then as a running backs coach for Chattanooga (2012), Marshall (2013), Wisconsin (2014), Georgia (2015), and South Carolina (2019). His first multiyear coaching stint came as the offensive coordinator and running backs coach for Miami from 2016-2018.

While the Panthers’ offense was one of the few units to rival the Patriots’ ineptitude, Brown was in a similarly difficult position personnel-wise. Rookie quarterback Bryce Young suffered from a porous offensive line that couldn’t pass or run block, and their best receiver was a 33-year-old Adam Thielen.

If Brown were to leave the Panthers, where he is still under contract, his new role would likely include an additional title similar to what he had in his final two seasons with the Rams. Brown is also viewed as a future head coach, so bringing in a potential successor like Nick Caley might be in New England’s best interest.

Interview: Jerrod Johnson – Texans quarterbacks coach

Reported: 7:26 AM · 1/26/24

CBS Sports‘ Jonathan Jones reported Friday morning that Texans quarterbacks coach Jerrod Johnson will interview for the Patriots’ offensive coordinator job today.

Johnson played professional football from 2011-2018 after a promising career at Texas A&M was derailed by injury. He went undrafted and spent time in the NFL, CFL, and UFL.

After his playing days, Johnson worked under Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers for one season in 2017 as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, then worked in a similar role for Frank Reich’s Colts in 2019. In 2020, Johnson was promoted to offensive quality control coach. He served in the role for two seasons before being named assistant quarterbacks coach for Kevin O’Connel’s Vikings in 2022. Johnson’s ascension continued in Houston, where former colleague DeMeco Ryans hired him as Houston’s quarterback coach.

If the Patriots hired Johnson as their offensive coordinator, it would mark his third consecutive season receiving an upgraded title and working under a first-year head coach. While his rise up the ranks has been swift, his work mentoring Offensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner C.J. Stroud to a historic season speaks for itself.

With New England almost certainly drafting a quarterback with their first pick, hiring someone with experience both playing and successfully coaching the position would be a welcomed addition to the staff.

Report: DeMarcus Covington – Patriots defensive line coach 

Reported: 1/23/24

Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer reported Tuesday afternoon that Patriots defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington, who recently interviewed for the team’s defensive coordinator role, “is a strong favorite” to land the job. Breer touched on Covington’s seven years of experience with the team and five years working with Jerod Mayo as two key reasons for his candidacy.

You can scroll down for an expanded explanation of Covington’s resume and qualifications, but he’s been viewed as a leading candidate to fill the position since Mayo’s hiring. He also interviewed for the Cardinals and Chargers’ defensive coordinator jobs last offseason.

New England’s defensive line was the best position group on the team in 2023, and Covington’s work with breakout star Christian Barmore may be his most impressive accomplishment to date. Maintaining that continuity, at least until Covington starts receiving potential head coach attention, will be crucial in this new era for the Patriots.

Interview – Shane Waldron – Bears offensive coordinator

Reported: 1/23/24

Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer reported Tuesday afternoon that former Seahawks offensive coordinator interviewed for the same role with the Patriots job before accepting a job with the Bears.

Waldron is very familiar with New England. He attended Phillips Acadamy in Andover and played tight end and long snapper at Tufts from 1999-2002. His NFL career began with the Patriots, where he won Super Bowls as an operational intern in 2002 and an operations assistant in 2004.  He then followed former New England offensive coordinator Charlie Weis to Notre Dame, where he served as a graduate assistant from 2005-2007.

Waldron was rehired by the Patriots in 2008 as an offensive quality control coach before being promoted to tight ends coach in 2009. He left the NFL in 2010 but stayed local, becoming a wide receivers coach for the UFL’s Hartford Colonials in 2010, serving as BB&N’s offensive coordinator in 2011, and spending four seasons at UMass as a tight ends coach (2012-2013) and offensive line coach (2013-2014).

Waldron returned to the NFL as an offensive quality control coach for Washington in 2016. The next season, former Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay hired Waldron to be his tight ends coach with the Rams. Waldron was promoted to passing game coordinator in 2018, where he would be shut out in Super Bowl LIII by Bill Belichick’s Patriots. He held this role until 2020 and filled in as quarterbacks coach in 2019 when Zac Taylor became the Bengals head coach. Coveted for his ties to McVay’s offensive system, he became the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator in 2021 as a replacement for Brian Schottenheimer.

Waldron is the fourth coordinator candidate linked to New England with ties to the Rams. Both Zac Robinson and Nick Caley have both been assistant coaches in LA, and Dan Pitcher worked under McVay disciple Zac Taylor. Waldron’s success in Seattle and experience coaching at multiple different levels and positions made him one of the most intriguing candidates on the market, but Chicago acted quickly and ultimately got their guy.

Interview: Gerald Alexander – Steelers assistant defensive backs coach 

Reported: 1/23/24

Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer reported Tuesday afternoon that Steelers assistant defensive backs coach interviewed for the Patriots’ defensive coordinator job.

After being named First-team All-WAC four times at Boise State from 2003-2006, Alexander played safety in the NFL from 2007-2011 for five different teams. When his playing career ended, Alexander served as an undergraduate assistant at Arkansas State in 2013 and then a graduate assistant at Washington in 2014. He then bounced around schools as a defensive backs coach, spending time at Indiana State in 2015, Montana State in 2016, and California from 2017-2019. He also interned for the Titans in 2015 and the Buccaneers in 2016 as part of the Bill Walsh Minority Internship Program.

Washington began his NFL coaching career as a defensive backs coach for the Dolphins from 2020-2021, working under former Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores and former Patriots cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer.

Washington was fired by the Dolphins in 2022 when the team changed regimes before moving on to Pittsburgh, whose defense tied for the league lead in interceptions during his first season with the team. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick also earned Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro honors.

Alexander is the second candidate with defensive backs experience to have reportedly met with New England for their defensive coordinator job, along with the Broncos’ Christian Parker.

Interview: Dan Pitcher – Bengals quarterbacks coach

Reported:

NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport reported Monday night that Bengals quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher is scheduled to interview for the team’s vacant offensive coordinator position over Zoom on Tuesday. Rams assistant coaches Zac Robinson and Nick Caley are also scheduled to meet with the team virtually this week.

Pitcher has been the Bengals’ quarterbacks coach since Joe Burrow was drafted in 2020. He also contributed to Jake Browning’s impressive stretch when Burrow went down, with the backup earning a passer rating of at least 90 in six of his eight games and a rating of at least 100 in three games.

Pitcher has spent his entire professional coaching career in Cincinnati, starting as an offensive assistant from 2016-2018 before being promoted to assistant quarterbacks coach in Zac Taylor’s first season. Pitcher moved up to quarterbacks coach in 2020 following Alex Van Pelt’s departure.

Pitcher got his NFL start in the Colts’ front office, serving as a scouting assistant from 2012-2013 and a pro scout from 2014-2015. He also spent 2012 as the wide receivers coach at SUNY Cortland, where he played quarterback for three seasons and was a finalist for the 2011 Gagliardi Trophy, the Division III equivalent of the Heisman.

Pitcher signed an extension with the Bengals last offseason, and Cincinnati offensive coordinator Brian Callahan was announced as the Titans’ newest head coach less than an hour before news broke of Pitcher’s interview. Pitcher is also scheduled to meet with the Raiders tomorrow night in Las Vegas and the Saints on Thursday, so competition for his services will be tight.

Interview: Zac Robinson – Rams passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach

Reported: 12:21 PM · 1/21/24

Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer reported Sunday afternoon that head coach Jerod Mayo will interview Rams passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson, as well as Rams tight ends coach Nick Caley, for their offensive coordinator vacancy this week. Caley will meet with the team tomorrow, while Robinson will do so on Tuesday.

Robinson broke into professional coaching as an assistant wide receivers coach for the Rams in 2020 before being promoted to assistant quarterbacks coach when Liam Coen left for Kentucky in 2021. He’s helped mentor Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and offensive rookie of the year candidate Puka Nacu, and he also won a Super Bowl in 2022 when LA defeated the Bengals on their home turf.

Robinson’s Patriots ties aren’t as strong as Caley’s, as New England took the former in the 7th round of the 2010 draft but cut him before the season opener. He then played briefly for the Seahawks and Lions before sticking with the Bengals from 2011-2013.

Both coaches are highly respected, which means they will also be highly coveted. Robinson and Caley may be interviewing for the same job, but New England could also try acquiring both by offering upgraded titles. Robinson’s experience makes him the most likely offensive coordinator candidate, particularly if the team drafts a quarterback, while Caley could take a high-ranking position like passing game coordinator.

Interview: Nick Caley – Rams tight ends coach

Reported: 8:12 AM · 1/21/24

ESPN‘s Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that the Patriots will meet with Rams tight ends coach Nick Caley for their vacant offensive coordinator position. This marks the team’s first reported interview for the role.

Before moving on to LA, Caley spent his entire NFL coaching career in New England and was their longest-tenured assistant coach in his final season. He served as an offensive assistant from 2015-2016 before being promoted to tight ends coach in 2017, adding fullbacks coach to his title from 2020-2021. He became the Rams’ tight ends coach in 2023 after being passed over for New England’s offensive coordinator job in favor of Matt Patricia the prior season.

Caley is seen as a rising young coach and interviewed for the Patriots, Jets, and Texans’ offensive coordinator jobs last offseason. New England actually blocked him from talking to the Raiders when Josh McDaniels and multiple other coaching assistants left for Las Vegas. If brought back, Caley could provide a blend of New England’s traditional offense while incorporating McVay’s system or even adopt the latter completely.

Interview: Thomas McGaughey – Former Giants special teams coach

Reported: 9:49 AM · 1/20/24

ESPN‘s Jordan Raanan reported Saturday morning that the Patriots interviewed former Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey for the same role. McGaughey spent six seasons in New York, surviving three different regimes, but was fired on January 8th after New York’s special teams finished 21st in the league.

McGaughey played defensive back for the Univeristy of Houston from 1991-1995 and was elected a special teams captain his senior year. After stints as a player with the Bengals, Eagles, and Barcelona Dragons, he served as a graduate assistant for his alma mater in 1998.

In 2001, McGaughey began his coaching career with the Chiefs through the Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship. After being promoted to assistant special teams coordinator in 2002, he returned to Houston as a special teams coordinator in 2003 and added cornerbacks coach to his resume the following season.

McGaughey returned to the NFL as an assistant special teams coordinator for the Broncos from 2005-2006, then took the same job with the Giants from 2007-2010. He went back to college as LSU’s special teams coordinator and a defensive assistant from 2011-2013, then bounced back to the pros as a special teams coordinator, spending 2014 with the Jets, 2015 with the 49ers, and 2016-2017 with the Panthers before landing back with the Giants.

McGaughey is the third special teams coach the Patriots have interviewed in less than a week, which makes sense after their mostly disappointing 2023 campaign. The Washington Post‘s Mark Maske reported that “some within the league believe that if Bill Belichick does end up in Atlanta, his coaching staff with the Falcons could include Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia, and Joe Judge,” which would leave New England without their primary special teams coach.

Interview: DeMarcus Covington – Patriots defensive line coach

CBS Sports‘ Jonathan Jones reported Friday afternoon that the Patriots plan to interview defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington for their defensive coordinator position.

Covington has been on the Patriots staff since 2017, serving as a coaching assistant before being promoted to outside linebackers coach in 2019 and then defensive line coach in 2020. He won a Super Bowl with the team during the 2018 season when New England defeated the Rams.

Covington’s coaching career began as a defensive graduate assistant at UAB in 2012. He held the same position at Ole Miss from 2013 to 2014, then rose above the graduate assistant ranks to become a defensive line coach for UT Martin in 2015.

Before landing in New England, Covington moved on to Eastern Illinois in 2016, where he added co-defensive coordinator to his title alongside Michael Hodges, who also recently interviewed for the Patriots’ defensive coordinator position.

Covington is highly respected around the league as one of its rising young coaches. After serving as the American roster’s defensive coordinator at last year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl, he interviewed for defensive coordinator jobs with the Cardinals and Chargers. Covington also led the Patriots’ best position group this season. Christian Barmore and Anfernee Jennings enjoyed breakout seasons, and New England fielded the NFL’s best run defense despite losing star player Matthew Judon in Week 4. Speaking of Judon, the red-sleeved wonder earned his third and fourth consecutive Pro Bowl nods under Covington’s tutelage.

Of the Patriots’ in-house defensive coordinator candidates, few, if any, are more deserving than Covington. He has also worked with head coach Jerod Mayo for the past five seasons, helping maintain continuity for the unit that kept New England competitive despite atrocious offensive play and shaky special teams.

Interview: Jeremy Springer – Rams assistant special teams coach 

Reported: 11:12 AM • 1/19/24

NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport reported Friday morning that the Patriots will interview Rams assistant special teams coach Jeremy Springer for their special teams coaching job.

Springer has been on LA’s staff for the past two seasons, working with one of the NFL’s best specialists in Pro Bowl kicker Matt Gay. He also helped Brandon Powell finish 8th in total kick return yards, and 7th in kickoffs returned past the 20-yard line among players with at least 20 kickoff returns in 2022.

Springer’s coaching career began as a graduate assistant at his alma mater UTEP in 2013, where he played linebacker and special teams at UTEP from 2007-2011 and was a four-time Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll member. He then worked under special teams coordinator Jeff Banks and assisted with tight ends at Texas A&M. The Aggies were one of the college football’s best special teams units during that span, leading the nation in blocked kicks and punts in 2017.

In 2018, Springer moved on to Marshall’s staff, helping lead their kick return unit to a 38.1-yard average, good for ranked 4th in the conference.

Springer went on to become the special teams coordinator at the University of Arizona from 2018-2020, where former Patriots running back J.J. Taylor averaged 24.5 yards per return on 22 returns in 2018, including one touchdown, and 23.6 yards per kick return with 19 total returns in 2019. Arizona kicker Lucas Havrisik also converted 90% of his field goal attempts in a shortened 2020 season.

Outside of bright spots like Brenden Schooler and Jalen Reagor’s kick return score in Buffalo, the Patriots’ special teams were among the worst in the league last season. The team requested an interview with Falcons special teams coach Marquice Williams last week, but there has been no update as to whether their request was granted.

Interview: Michael Hodges – Saints linebackers coach

Reported:

NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport reported Friday morning that the Patriots will interview Saints linebackers coach Michael Hodges for their defensive coordinator job. Rapoport says Hodges was a “huge part of that defense that was a Top 10 scoring defense in each of the last four seasons.” The star pupil in Hodges’ room has been five-time All-Pro Demario Davis.

Hodges’ coaching career began at Fresno State, where he served as a graduate assistant from 2012-2013. After coaching linebackers at Eastern Illinois from 2014-2015, he moved on to safeties in 2016 and was promoted to co-defensive coordinator alongside Patriots defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington.

Hodges has spent his entire professional coaching career in New Orleans, starting as a defensive assistant from 2017-2018. He was promoted to assistant linebackers coach in 2019 before taking over as linebackers coach in 2020.

Mayo’s rise to head coach has left the team without an inside linebackers coach. If Steve Belichick follows his father, the team could also be without an outside linebackers coach. With DeMarcus Covington being a leading candidate to take over as defensive coordinator, adding Hodges would bring familiarity and a proven track record to the coaching staff.

Interview: Christian Parker – Broncos defensive backs coach

Reported: 8:03 AM · 1/19/24

NFL Network‘s Tom Pelissero reported Friday morning that the Patriots are interviewing Broncos defensive backs coach Christian Parker for their defensive coordinator position. Parker is considered one of the top young defensive coaches in the league and a fast riser.

Parker was a defensive backs coach at Virginia State from 2013-2014, then at Norfolk State from 2015-2016. He then served as a defensive analyst at Notre Dame in 2017 before moving on to Texas A&M in 2018. He got his start in the NFL as a defensive quality control coach for the Packers, where he worked from 2019-2020. Denver hired him to be their defensive backs coach in 2021, where he mentored All-Pro Patrick Surtain.

If Parker doesn’t get the coordinator job but still wants to be on New England’s staff, he could replace cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino and/or safeties coach Brian Belichick, who might follow Bill Belichick to his next destination.

Departure: Bill O’Brien – Ohio State offensive coordinator (Former Patriots offensive coordinator)

Report: 9:34 PM · 1/18/24

ESPN‘s Peter Thamel reports that Bill O’Brien will be Ohio State’s newest offensive coordinator after spending 2023 in the same position for the Patriots.

O’Brien was put in a tough spot during his first season back in New England. Between a disjointed coaching staff, turnover-prone passers, an undermanned receiving corps, poor offensive line depth, and a wave of injuries, he was the second offensive coordinator New England set up to fail in as many years. There were missed opportunities scattered throughout New England’s tape this season, and the Patriots’ last-ranked scoring offense managed to trail only the 49ers in Red Zone conversion rate.

That said, O’Brien was far from perfect. The Patriots tied for the 4th-most delay-of-game penalties due to their often tedious pre-snap checklist. While route spacing wasn’t as significant an issue as it was under Matt Patricia, receivers seemed to occupy the same space at least once a week, and the offense could’ve done better creating space at times.

Last Saturday, NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport said Josh McDaniels could be Jerod Mayo’s top choice if O’Brien left the team, though it is expected to be an open search. If McDaniels isn’t hired, whoever earns the job will be the Patriots’ fourth offensive coordinator in as many seasons.

Interview Request: Marquice Williams – Falcons special teams coach

Reported: 5:04 PM, 1/15/24

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots have requested to interview Falcons special teams coach Marquice Williams, 38, for the same position in New England. Atlanta blocked the Giants from interviewing Williams earlier last week.

Before joining Atlanta in 2021, Williams worked with Matt Patricia as an assistant special teams coach with the Lions from 2019-2020. He also served as the East’s head coach during last year’s East-West Shrine Bowl, while Jerod Mayo was in a supervisory role for the West alongside Bill Belichick.

Williams began his career as an outside linebackers coach and assistant special teams for Winona State in 2010. He then served as linebackers coach for Central Oklahoma in 2021 before settling down at South Dakota from 2012-2015. There, he was a defensive line coach and community relations liaison before adding special teams coach to his resume in 2015.

Williams made his NFL debut through the Bill Walsh NFL diversity coaching fellowship, working with the Bears from 2013-2014, then the Lions in 2015. His first pro coaching job came as an assistant special teams coach for the Chargers from 2016-2017. In 2018, he moved to a defensive assistant role. After two seasons in Detroit, Williams took his first coordinator job with the Falcons. Williams’ Falcons recorded three blocks and two touchdowns back in 2022.

The Patriots’ special teams units were up and down last season. Brenden Schooler was voted to the NFLPA’s All-Pro team despite a late-season slump, Jalen Reagor scored an impressive kick return touchdown in Buffalo, and the punt return team had its moments. But New England’s punt coverage was among the league’s worst, and rookie kicker Chad Ryland struggled mightily.

Interview: Tem Lukabu – Panthers outside linebackers coach

Reported: 12:34 PM, 1/15/24

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Patriots’ head coach Jerod Mayo has “begun filling out his staff” and will interview Panthers’ outside linebackers coach Tem Lukabu, 42, for the team’s defensive coordinator position.

Since the meeting satisfies league rules mandating teams bring in at least one external minority candidate for coordinator jobs, Lukabu could also be interviewing for a coaching position that is or will soon be vacant. We saw this play out last offseason with Adrian Klemm, who was brought in during New England’s offensive coordinator but was actually interviewing to become their next offensive line coach.

Lukabu became the Panthers’ outside linebackers coach in 2023, where he mentored 2x Pro Bowler Brian Burns. This came after a three-year stint as Boston College’s defensive coordinator under head coach Jeff Hafley. Lukabu elevated the ACC’s 13th overall scoring defense in 2019 to the conference’s 6th-best unit in 2020 and 3rd-best in 2021. They regressed to 13th in his final season with BC, but that was mainly due to a poor offense putting its defense in tough spots (sound familiar?). It’s possible Lubaku and Mayo developed a relationship during the latter’s time in the area.

Lukabi also has Patriots ties in Greg Schiano, who was supposed to be Mayo’s defensive coordinator in 2019 before abruptly resigning to coach at Ohio State. Lubaku and Schiano worked together at Rutgers for four seasons between 2006 and 2011. Lukabu had separate two-year stints as director of player development and then linebackers coach, after which he followed Schiano to the Buccaneers as a defensive assistant from 2012-2013.

Lukabu’s other NFL stops include serving as a defensive quality control coach for the 49ers from 2016-2017, helping out the secondary for a year under now-Jets head coach Robert Salah, and Bengals linebackers coach in 2019 under renowned defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo. Lukabu also coached Montez Sweat while serving as Mississippi State’s linebackers coach in 2018.

His experience in different systems would bring a fresh perspective to the defensive staff, which was already a top-10 unit by DVOA last season.

Offer: Steve Belichick – Patriots linebackers coach

Reported: 9:01 AM, 1/15/24

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported Monday morning that play-caller and linebackers coach Steve Belichick, 36,  has “already been offered the opportunity to return to the team for 2024.”

Belichick and Jerod Mayo grew close during the latter’s stints on injured reserve from 2013-2015. Mayo and Belichick, then a defensive assistant, worked together closely and spent countless hours watching tape together.

Since Mayo joined the Patriots as linebackers coach in 2019, he and Belichick, who worked in the secondary before joining Mayo as co-linebackers coach in 2020, collectively ran the defense. Mayo served as defacto defensive coordinator while Belichick called plays on the sidelines, though the two continued to work collaboratively.

Steve could always follow his father, Bill Belichick, to his next coaching spot, especially if he wants to be the successor. But the younger Belichick already has roots in New England, and his connection with Mayo likely makes him a top option to take over as defensive coordinator, along with defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington.

Offer: Brian Belichick – Patriots safeties coach

Reported: 9:01 AM, 1/15/24

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported Monday morning that play-caller and safeties coach Brian Belichick has “already been offered the opportunity to return to the team for 2024.”

Belichick has been with the Patriots his entire career, serving as safeties coach since 2020. He began as a scouting assistant in 2016 before working as a coaching assistant from 2017-2019. His units are perennial among the league’s best, and he’s mentored Kyle Dugger from day one. The safety group struggled without Devin McCourty, but Jabrill Peppers had a career year, while Dugger and Mape showed improvement late in the season.

Brian could follow his father, Bill Belichick, to his next coaching spot, especially with brother Steve and defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington likely the leading internal candidates to take over as coordinator. But with so many established connections in New England, at least for now, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the youngest Belichick stay put.

Taylor Kyles

Taylor Kyles is the lead NFL Analyst for CLNS Media covering players, schemes, and tendencies through a New England Patriots-centric lens.

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